Inaugural Abu Dhabi Science Festival to spark curious minds and showcase the wonders of science
- United Arab Emirates: Monday, September 19 - 2011 at 09:56
- PRESS RELEASE
The Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee (TDC), the Abu Dhabi Government entity charged with supporting the elevation of Abu Dhabi to a world-class center for science, technology and innovation, has announced that Abu Dhabi will host an exciting new science festival this November - the first time such a large-scale event of its kind will be held in the UAE. The Abu Dhabi Science Festival is presented by TDC and Tawazun in association with Dolphin Energy.
In organizing this city-wide festival TDC is collaborating with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), as the festival's Education Partner, as well as the Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF) and 1001 Inventions, as Programming Partners.
The collaboration with ADEC, the festival's education partner, ensures alignment with Abu Dhabi's education reforms as well as the engagement of Abu Dhabi's school children and education community.
His Excellency Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of ADEC added: "ADEC is committed to providing a world-class educational system that brings out a student's full potential. This can be achieved through providing high quality extracurricular activities, which provide a range of additional learning opportunities. We believe that the Abu Dhabi Science Festival will play an instrumental role in activating a desire among children, who will be offered the opportunity to learn more about science and technology which will be reflected in their studies and classrooms. We look forward to creating our next generation of scientific leaders, and are delighted to collaborate with TDC on such an important initiative."
Dr. Al Khaili added that 15,000 students from Grades 1 to 9 from 174 schools (110 students from public schools, 64 students from private schools) will be participating in the upcoming event.
The nine-day event aims to spark the curiosity of the Emirate's youth in science, technology and innovation (STI) and will encompass over 150 of the world's most exciting informal science learning experiences, including interactive exhibits, fun workshops and spectacular shows.
The festival will cover different fields of STI including robotics, aeronautics, physics, biology, chemistry and archaeology, with the experiences designed to excite young people about the wonders and fun of science and technology whilst stimulating their inquisitive learning skills.
His Excellency Ahmed Al Calily, Director General of TDC, said: "The Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee is proud to announce the Abu Dhabi Science Festival, a world-class annual event which showcases the fun and excitement of science and technology to the young people of the Emirate in a creative and new way. Abu Dhabi's vision is to build a knowledge based society and is investing heavily in technology industries to achieve this. This in turn requires a scientifically literate society and a well equipped talent base; this festival is one of the efforts that will help build this talent base."
HE continues: "We're delighted to have several invaluable partners on board with us already and we shall be engaging with other partners in government and the business community over the coming few weeks as we continue our coordination efforts of this event that will be without a doubt one of the most impactful events on our youths to be held in Abu Dhabi."
To bring the Abu Dhabi Science festival to fruition, TDC is working closely with the Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF), which is the first and one of the largest science festivals in the world, to share exhibit content and knowledge gained from its annual event in Scotland, UK, which was founded in 1989.
As part of the festival's unique concept, EISF's experts will train hundreds of higher education students to become 'Science Communicators' and help visitors make the most of every experience and answer every curious question! This also enables the Abu Dhabi Science Festival to widen its community engagement as it is designed for the school children and their families and delivered by dedicated higher education students who are on their way to becoming the future STI professionals and entrepreneurs.
Dr Simon Gage, Director of the EISF, commented: "The Abu Dhabi Science Festival will undoubtedly become an instant global leader, one of the best events of its kind in the world, staged on a scale rarely seen before. Motivated to inspire the children of Abu Dhabi with a curiosity for science and technology, its extraordinary level of ambition is fitting for a nation determined to achieve success in the competitive world of technological innovation."
Complementing the festival's program as an anchor attraction, 1001 Inventions, the award-winning international touring exhibition, will have its Middle East debut in Abu Dhabi. Inspiring new generations in the Arab world, the exhibition brings to life a thousand years of exceptional advances in science and technology made by men and women in Muslim civilization. 1001 Inventions celebrates a thousand years of scientific and technological advancement that had a huge but unappreciated influence on our modern world.
The exhibition, which has attracted record-breaking audiences in London, Istanbul, New York and Los Angeles, will be in residence at the Corniche in Abu Dhabi starting from 19 November and featuring dozens of interactive exhibits, electronic games, and touch-screen experiences.
Prof. Mohammed El Gomati, Vice Chairman of 1001 Inventions, commented: "We are delighted to launch our Middle East tour at this prestigious event. Abu Dhabi Science Festival shares our
vision of inspiring young people to become the scientists and inventors of the future. Visitors to 1001 Inventions will be introduced to role models (male and female, Muslim and non-Muslim) from Muslim civilization whose astounding contributions in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics still affect our lives today.
The millions who have already engaged with our project are testament to the importance of providing young people with engaging and inspiring science education experiences. All historical content was generated by the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation, UK and was authenticated and peer reviewed by its International board of academic experts and historians of science."
As a major science popularization effort supporting the development of a world-class talent base in the Emirate, the Abu Dhabi Science Festival has attracted high profile sponsorship by Tawazun and Dolphin Energy.
Tawazun is a strategic investment firm focused on the long-term development of Abu Dhabi's industrial manufacturing and technology capabilities.
Tawazun's CEO H.E. Saif Mohamed Al Hajeri said the science festival bodes well for the company's efforts to contribute to economic diversification, sustainability and technology transfer.
"The very essence of science is experiment," said Al Hajeri, and this, he went on, is what Abu Dhabi Science Festival is all about. It is an opportunity for young people of the UAE to increase their knowledge, to experience firsthand the beauty of science and to put their creative abilities into practice in a very entertaining and fun-filled atmosphere.
Dolphin Energy is the company behind the Dolphin Gas Project, a unique strategic energy initiative which has been supplying increasing quantities of natural gas from offshore Qatar to the United Arab Emirates since July 2007.
Adel Ahmed Albuainain, General Manager - Dolphin Energy Qatar, explained, "As a company that recognizes the role technology and innovation plays in delivering success day-to-day, year-by-year, we are delighted to be involved in the Abu Dhabi Science Festival. Education is a key pillar of our ongoing CSR commitments and we are always keen to support initiatives designed to unlock potential. The Festival will help to do this while encouraging the youth into the sciences, develop future engineers and build a talent base responsible for charting Abu Dhabi's future success and long term scientific, technological and economic development."
TDC is partnering with a number of leading Abu Dhabi universities and higher education colleges such as Abu Dhabi University, United Arab Emirates University, Khalifa University, Higher College of Technology - Women's College and Emirates College of Advanced Education, from which students will be selected, giving them a unique opportunity to participate in this world-class science festival and help the visitors make the most of their experience at the event.
The festival is also sponsored by Total, one of the world's largest international oil and gas companies and the General Holding Corporation (GHC), the UAE's largest industrial conglomerate.
It is worth mentioning that ADSF is one of many upcoming science popularization initiatives that TDC is driving to support the building of Abu Dhabi's world-class talent base as part of its overarching mandate to help develop Science, Technology and Innovation in Abu Dhabi. Other announcements will be made in due course.
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